The Must Taste Specialties in Nha Trang

1. Banh Can (Can Cake)

The idyllic, rustic cake of Nha Trang makes anyone to be lavish with the special delicious taste. The cake is made from rice flour, put in cake molds and baked with many fillings like quail eggs, squids... The pleasure of tasting this dish is also in waiting feeling because Can cake is only baked when the customers order. Do not forget to dip the cakes in sauce with oil and fried onion – the unique typical flavor that creates the brand.

Can Cake with seafood filling
Addresses for reference: the crossroad of Tran Quy Cap Street, 2-4 (2nd April) street, 38 Ly Thanh Ton, 151 Hoang Van Thu, 51 To Hien Thanh, at 18 and 1009 2-4 road (the restaurants only serve Can cakes in the evenings ).

2. Banh Canh (Canh cake)

Canh cake is bigger than noodles, but it is very soft and easy to eat. A bowl of Banh Canh is more attractive when adding a soft, sweet, fragrant and boneless portion of mackerel. Apart from mackerel, many places in Nha Trang also sell Banh Canh with fried fish (grilled chopped fish), fish stomach, pig’s feet pork..., which makes this dish become more diverse and better.

Banh Canh with fried fish in Nha Trang
Some delicious restaurants where you can enjoy Banh Canh: Mrs. Thua Banh Canh restaurant at 55 Yersin, Phuc restaurant at 53 Van Don, Ms. Ha restaurant at 14 Phan Chu Trinh, Mrs. Loc restaurant at 30 Phan Chu Trinh, Tran Thi Tinh, restaurant at 42 Phan Dinh Phung.

3. Types of noodle

Guests can not but be impressed by the noodle served in sidewalk stalls or inside the restaurants. Nha Trang noodle has a tasty taste imbued with identity of the seaside. Bun rieu (noodles with Fresh-water crab soup) is a blend of traditional taste of Hanoi with sea flavor, or snail noodles with special characteristic flavor of the city.
Fish Noodles in Nha Trang are simmered with meat of sailfish and mackerel, and has a gently sweet flavor. The fish meat may be mackerel, red fish milled and rounded, or eaten with fried fish.

Addresses for reference: Ninh Hoa noodle restaurant on 2 Lan Ong, Cay Bang Ninh Hoa in Han Thuyen noodle at No.6 Han Thuyen Street, Duc fish noodle in B8 Phan Boi Chau, 87 Yersin, 23A Yet Kieu.

Nha Trang beef noodle and shrimp sauce smells delicious. Beef is also taken from cows’ muscle with lots of tendon. Visitors will certainly be impressed by the crunchy taste while enjoying this dish. Many places in Nha Trang also add more boiled beef blood, and add the pork to improve the taste the noodles. Beef noodle is served with a basket of vegetables.

Addresses: 57 Le Thanh Phuong, Nam Giao beef noodle at 7Thong Nhat, 15B Hoang Hoa Tham, 63 To Hien Thanh, Kim Vui beef noodle at 15 Le Thanh Ton ...

Jellyfish noodle is not a to miss dish with the main ingredient is the jellyfish. Based on the experience of local people, time to eat the most delicious jellyfish in early summer. This dish is served with fried fish... Guests can enjoy jellyfish noodles in Loan Nguyen restaurant on Ngo Gia Tu Street, 87 Yersin, Year Beo restaurant in Phan Boi Chau.

Jellyfish noodle
4. Grilled chicken feet

This is a familiar sidewalk dish which are preferred by the young or the carouser. Chicken feet are soaked with delicious spices and have greasy taste. In Nha Trang, when eating grilled chicken feet, people also eat cucumber, tomato, and spices like lemon or chili pepper. Added to this, roasted chicken hearts, grilled chicken wings, grilled quail eggs ... served in the restaurants are also very delicious and satisfy the visitors.

Grilled chicken feet
Some addresses for reference: A Minh Restaurant at 46 Le Thanh Ton , at the beginning of Tran Van On street, Phan Chu Trinh street.

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 The Must Taste Specialties in Nha Trang

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dau Pagoda, Bac Ninh- the Oldest Pagoda in Vietnam

As one of the oldest temples in Vietnam, Dau Pagoda is located in Thanh Khuong Commune, Thuan Thanh district, Bac Ninh province. Not only does Dau pagoda offer a wealth of historical, architecture, sculpture value, but it also is the origin of Buddhism. This is one of the typical religious relics, attracts many domestic and international tourists to pilgrimage, to learn about the historical values.


The front view of Dau pagoda, Thuan Thanh, Bac Ninh
About 30km from Hanoi, Dau pagoda is now in Thanh Khuong village, Thuan Thanh district, Bac Ninh province. Tourists go along Highway 5, to Phu Thi, you turn to Highway 182 about 12 km to Dau pagoda. Coming here, we are certainly surprised at the lyrical, poetic land, at the quiet, peaceful countryside space, and hospitable people. Dau Pagoda is ancient, mossy, is hidden behind the foliages and the bushes creating in the hearts of people calm feeling, real but dreamlike with many myths of the ancient Dau region, Kinh Bac.


Dau Pagoda, also known as Dien Ung, Phap Van and Co Chau is located on the heart of one of the typical and richest the historical and cultural relics of Kinh Bac land. It is the capital of Giao Chi (Giao Chau), the center of politics, economy, culture, the oldest Buddhist center of our country, including the Luy Lau ancient citadel, Temple and Tomb of Sy Nhiep, a system temples, shrines, palaces, upper rooms, yards, pottery, busy street markets of Luy Lau metropolitan,... is evidence of a long period of tens of centuries before and after Christ .

The construction of the temple was started in 187 and completed in 226. The historical documents, the material remaining in the tank, especially the inscriptions "Cổ Châu Pháp vân Phật bản hạnh " dating back to 1752 and result of the researches about Vietnam Buddhist history of the historians asserted that "Dau pagoda is ancestry of Buddhism in Vietnam", was ranked the historic site by the state on 28th April, 1962.

In 1913, the temple was rebuilt and renovated several times in the next centuries. In Tran dynasty, King Tran Nhan Tong sent Scholar Mac Dinh Chi to redesign Dau pagoda so that it became "hundred compartments temple, nine-floor tower, nine- span bridge". Through the ups and downs of the history and being destroyed by the wars, but Dau pagoda with high brick tower, ancient and palatial worship spaces have been there.

The Bodhisattva Buddha statue in Dau pagoda
Dau pagoda festival (4th April in lunar calendar annually)

This festival is considered the oldest festival that has still existed to this day. History has it that the King often came here and took part in the festival, worship the Buddhists, prayed for rain, even Phap Van (Cloud Godness) statue worshipped in Dau pagoda was repeatedly taken to Thang Long capital to pray for rain. The festival is celebrated with solemn and formal ceremonies following the tradition to commemorate the day Godness Man Nuong gave birth to her daughter. The festival has many ritual activities and many, attractive folks attracting tourists, believers, monks, nuns, Buddhists from everywhere to worship and pilgrimage.

Godness Man Nuong worshipped in Dau pagoda

The most important meaning of Dau pagoda festival is to pray for good weather- the centuries- old desire of agricultural residents, a major Buddhist festival of the Northern plains and midlands. Over thousands of years, the "ritual" of the festival has been somewhat lost; however, we still feel the traditional beauty, traditional cultural values reflecting diverse religious life, creativity of the ancients, which have been preserved to this day.

Dau Pagoda, Bac Ninh- the Oldest Pagoda in Vietnam

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Experiencing the Nature of Cuc Phuong National Park

120km from Hanoi, the national park is located adjacent to Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa, and is an environmentally friendly destination with exciting discovering activities.

Cuc Phuong is suitable for a picnic at weekends. Cuc Phuong is also where you not only can relax in an open space of the jungle, but also have the opportunities to learn more about the nature around.

Cuc Phuong National Park

Cuc Phuong National Park covers an area of 25,000 hectares and is the first national park in Vietnam. Featuring a tropical evergreen rain forest, Cuc Phuong has an abundant fauna and flora population including many species of rare plants and animals.

Annually, the park welcome numerous nature lovers to explore and experience the days sleeping in the forest. With a rich ecosystem, Cuc Phuong is suitable for vacation, sightseeing and discovery. There are many ways to entertain in the open and cool space with thousands of trees.

One of these interesting activities is camping and walking in the narrow trails, visit the valuable and rare trees in the dense jungle. Besides, other activities like cycling through the forest, taking a bird watching trip, looking for the ancient caves or going trekking through the jungle… also attract many visitors.

Riding a bike and exploring Cuc Phuong park

From Hanoi, you can choose to travel by motorcycle or passenger car, but the best way is to travel by private cars, which is flexible in time, can go deep into the forest and ensure the safety if children come along. The road is quite beautiful and smooth, through the jungle and fragrant rice fields.

From Hanoi, tourists go along Highway 1 toward Ninh Binh, until you reach Gian Khau pork (10 km from the city of Ninh Binh), turn to Highway 12A, pass Nho Quan town about 2 km, then turn left to Cuc Phuong. From the city of Hoa Binh, you drive along Highway 12B toward Nho Quan town about 2 km, then turn right to Cuc Phuong.

The water fall in Cuc Phuong in rain season

Tourist sites:

- Cuc Phuong Botanical Garden: This area is built to collect and plant rare species of Cuc Phuong, Vietnam and the world.
- Cuc Phuong's Endangered Primate Rescue Center (EPRC): this center is responsible for rescuing the individual of rare primate species.
- Prehistoric People Cave: the cave is the relic of residence and burial of prehistoric man.
- Con Moong Cave: where the prehistoric people choose for their long-term habitation.
- Trang Khuyet (Crescent Moon) Cave: Located deep in the forest, has crescent moon shape when being looked from cave’s mouth
- The ancient trees: Cuc Phuong has an amazing diversity of plants including the giant ancient trees up to 70m high

The pristine beauty in Cuc Phuong


You should prepare for a trip to Cuc Phuong like a picnic trip so that you could give a party in the forest. If you have time, you should go on the weekends, otherwise, you can travel in a day and a half to spend a night in the woods and return in the following afternoon. The food in the forest is not very much and various; therefore, you should prepare enough food for two days, especially with trips with children.

Temperatures in the woods at night and early morning is often low, so you should wear a thin sweater and jacket to avoid the cold and fog. The ideal weather to Cuc Phuong is the sunny days when the rainy season passed because there would be less insects and mosquitoes.

There are always many insects in the forest; therefore, if there are young children accompanying, you should prepare lotions.

Cost: approximately 6,500,000 VND contract for two days of relaxing.

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Exploring the traditional beauty and values of Cu Da Ancient Village- Hanoi

About 20km from center of Hanoi city to the west, located on the bank of Nhue River, Cu Da Village (Cu Khe Commune, Thanh Oai district – Hanoi) is known as a unique cultural space which preserved the village gate, rated old temples, communal houses, many old houses which completely remain the architectural style of the Northern plains and the ancient house with French architecture 100 years ago.

An alley of Cu Da ancient village

Located on the bank of Nhue River, Cu Da Village has become a bustling commercial place, an affluent village which demonstrates the concept of "near markets is the best, then near rivers". The most developed period of the village was the late 19th and early 20th century. Not only does Cu Da have old mossy gate with a clock at the top, but the alleys along Nhue river also has gates. Explaining to the constructions of the gates, the elderly said that because of being a thriving place, Cu Da attracted many pilgrims, some thieves mingled causing the insecurity and disorder. Therefore, the villagers had to build the gates, every house had a gate with wooden doors. This is a rare feature in of the villages in the North, and even through out Vietnam.

The gate of Cu Da village

The village currently has only a few dozen of old houses in French architecture with 2 floors, sophisticated but harmonious with the traditional style of the Northern plain. Most of the old houses in the village are made of wood, on roof tiles. The house of Mr. Trinh The Sung’s family, built over 130 years ago, has been inhabited by 4 generations. Although the house has gone through many ups and downs, it is still quite intact, and because the family wants to preserve and maintain the traditional culture, they do not want to unroof and rebuild the house.

The old house of Mr. Trinh The Sung, the oldest house in Cu Da village

Coming to Cu Da, visitors not only discover the ancient features of the village, but also have the opportunity to witness the thrilling producing scenery and characteristic flavor of traditional products of the village- vermicelli and soybean jam.

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Cu Da vermicelli is made of cassava (a kind of tuber plant) powder. In the early morning here, the village roads are bustling with people carrying the “cakes” of cassava vermicelli put in the bamboo wattles to dry, the bamboo wattles are leaned on the bamboo poles or walls along the road. Just over a period of sunshine, the cassava vermicelli is flexible enough to be removed from the wattles to be cut into fibers. Besides the slicers, one person will the put vermicelli pieces on, some other people will pick up the threads of vermicelli and hang on the bamboo poles to continue drying. In sunny days, vermicelli is dried in one day and then rolled into small rolls for packaging. Each day, Cu Da produces about 15 to 20 tones of cassava vermicelli, these products are delivered to all regions of Vietnam and in foreign countries where Vietnamese people live.

Cassava vermicelli is being dried

Cu Da soybean jam has also become a specialty because it has a different flavor from sauce. Cu Da soybean jam is fragrant, tasty and is dried and kept preciously. However, nowadays, there are only a few families producing bottled soybean jam for consuming.

Cu Da soybean jam is kept in terracotta jars to avoid insects and being stale

Exploring the traditional beauty and values of Cu Da Ancient Village- Hanoi

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Dung Quat- Sa Can (Quang Ngai)

It is said that Dung Quat Bay is a beautiful place for many visitors. In fact, he name “Dung Quat” is derived from the word “Vung Quyt”. In the past, marine boats were powered by sails. And when the wind was calm, those boats often came on board of Vung Quyt to take a rest.

Near Vung Quyt is Sa Can seaport which is known as Thai Can or The Can. In Sino-Vietnamese, the name means picking up edible seaweed. It rises from a folk legend. Namely, the army of King Le Thanh Tong came here in the spring of 1471 he found his soldiers picking up seaweed for food and decided to call this seaport Thai Can.

Sa Can is a beautiful seaport with poetic scenery especially in the twilight. It has Hon Ong and Hon Ba. On Hon Ba, there is an ancient temple worshiping Vo Hau. No one has known when it was built. In addition, Hoa Ba is not big. It has a total area of 400 square meters. However, when you stand from here, you can have an overall view. You can see Tra Bong estuary with many boats. Around the estuary are a lot of houses and buildings like streets. Sa Can not only has fascinating landscapes but also is famous for a seaport having trade with the outside world early especially with Chinese traders doing business ceramics.

Near Sa Can seaport there is Nam Cham (Nam Tram) Mountain with the height of 141 meters. According an ancient book, it was a high mountain peak, so traders under Minh Thanh Dynasty chose it as a place to navigate when they passed the sea. Standing on Nam Mountain and looking around, you will be amazed at Dung Quat – Sa Can Sea’s beauty. One side is Dung Quat Bay which is clear, soft and charming. Other sides are Hon Ong, Hon Ba, Hon Co, Hon Dinh, Hon Luy, and Hon Coc. These places' names are associated with interesting legends and stories.

Sa Can is near because it is far from Quang Ngai only about 40 kilometers, Chu Lai 7 kilometers and Ly Son 20 kilometers. Coming to here, visitors will be satisfied with watching poetic scenery of the end of the river connecting to mountains, hills, vast sea, peaceful and dreamy villages at nightfall. Close to Sa Can seaport is Dung Quat refinery which is the first on in Vietnam. It has high towers with many industrial plants. This place has not only a sea, natural and man-made landscapes but also traces of the history mixing with many legends. Downstream on Sa Can seaport on moon nights, visitors will feel like getting lost in the mysterious space.

When you move to Sa Can, Dung Quat in the north you will meet Hai beach, Thien Dang beach and Rang sea. Go to the south you will watch Nho Na Bay, a unspoiled beached named Thanh Thuy, Le Thuy, An Cuong, Ba Lang Anh cape and My Han with clear blue water and calm waves.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Charming Y Ty in Lao Cai Province

Y Ty is upland in Bat Xat district, Lao Cai province. It not only has the beauty of the land of fog and unique primeval forests but also is a charming tourist destination bearing identities of ethnic groups in West Northern Vietnam.

Leaving the Lao Cai train station, visitors take a bus to Bat Xat town and from there go along the mountain road about 70km until you meet Y Ty. It is a valley situated at an altitude of over 2,000 meter leaning back Nhu Cu San Mountain range with its peak of 2.660m and almost year-round cloud. Go by car, you can see mountain trails that run in zigzags and disappear slowly among forest leaves and houses looming in the clouds. It can be said that Y Ty is beautiful by clouds and mountains and bright with terraced rice fields. Y Ty commune has 15 villages with 4 ethnic groups consisting of Ha Nhi, Dao, Hmong and Kinh people in the town center in which Ha Nhi is the largest one.

Coming to visit Y Ty, you will feel very interesting when going to a market on. This place is home to many ethnic minorities such as Ha Nhi, Dao, Han, Giay, and Mong with colorful dresses. Mong people wear tutu, Ha Nhi people appear with three-bladed hairpins and wool wigs braided around their heads. Dao people wind peacock scarves on their heads with innocent smiles. They buy and sell local products and crafts of their family.

In Y Ty, there are special houses. They still remain original untouched traditional architectural styles of Ha Nhi people. The house is usually a rectangular structure with a main door and arch to allow the wind go through. There is no window but the house is very warm in winter but cool in summer. The walls made from the soil are thick from 30 - 40cm. Its roofs are wood. Here, visitors will encounter Ha Nhi households living these houses in the mountain near streams and trails full of leaves falling year-round.

According to local people, in spring Y Ty people often hold a festival of the forest to show their promise with the God of the forest. The offerings include a 60 kg pig, 6 chickens, 6 trays of stick rice and 6 liters of wine. Every family has to have a person at least who wears traditional consume to worship. In particular, everyone must remove shoes and go barefoot. According to the concept of Ha Nhi people, this action shows respect for the god.

Ha Nhi people in Y Ty account for 60% of the population. They reside near water sources to ensure water for living and irrigation. Ha Nhi women are very hard.

It is no doubt that Y Ty is the place to preserve outstanding features of ethnic groups and owns its climate and scenery bearing mountainous characteristics. Besides, it hides much potential to develop economy. In jungles, there are cardamon trees bringing a special value for the land. Because it has the temperature of less 20 degree Celsius, there are streams with fresh water year-round. Therefore, Y Ty is a “promised land" in the development of cold-water fish species originating from Europe such as salmon and sturgeon.

Currently, the road to Y Ty is much better than before. Cars can run straight into the place, so it is so convenient for tourists when coming to villages. If you are adventurous, certainly Y Ty will be an attractive tourist spot that you cannot ignore when visiting West Northern.

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Plan for a Cheap Trip to Co To Island

From the port of Cai Rong (Van Don, Quang Ninh), it takes visitors about 1.5 hours travelling by high-speed ship to the island where you should spend about 3 days to explore and have fun.

The best time to visit Co To Island is in summer, from April to September with total cost of about VND 1,200,000 / person.

The beautiful Co To Island


Co To Island is situated in Quang Ninh province, about three hours travelling by ship from Cai Rong harbor. In recent rive years, the island has become the favorite place of young people in the summers with activities in the sea and night camping. Co To Island still has many wild features, the beaches with clear water, fine sand, and undeveloped tourists services.


From Hanoi, tourists can travel by passenger cars to Cam Pha, Cua Ong at My Dinh and Luong Yen bus stations. The price is about 200,000 VND/ ticket and it will take 4 hours. From here, you should catch the bus to go to Cai Rong port, then stay overnight in a hostel near the port so that you will be punctual for the early boat to Co to Island.

High- speed ship takes visitors from Cai Rong port to Co To Island

There are two types of ships going to the island: High- speed ship departs at 1 pm every day of the week, each departure takes 90 minutes and costs about 135,000 VND /turn/ person. Another king of ship is timber ship which departs daily at 6:30 am from the harbor to the island and returns at 1 pm in about 3 hours.

Commuting on the island: Motorcycle renting cost VND 200,000/day, bike, motorcycle taxi, or taxi.

Places to eat

On the island, there is not many service available; therefore, to have enough food for, you should book in advance or bring extra food from the mainland. Morning markets located near the residential area of town, so you can go shopping for more foods for the meals. Uy Thanh Restaurant is one of the restaurants that have good services and cheap price on the island.

Seafood market on Co To Island

In the evening, there are sea-food stalls along the coast with he reasonable price.

Vacation places

On the island, there are not many motels, mostly because the people build themselves and there are only simple equipment. Coto District Party Committee Guest House provides accommodation with the price of over 200,000 / room. Co To Lodge Hotel costs around VND 500,000/double room. The other hostels’ prices are mostly over 200,000/ room.

Note: The electricity grid on Co To Island is not very developed; therefore, so far, the electricity has been cut off after 11pm. The hostels have only a fan and no air conditionings.

Places to visit

Bac Van Beach is located near the entrance to the island, from the wharf, visitor can see this almost 15km- long beach spreading to the end of the island. The beach has big wave and has a very beautiful road with casuarinas along two sides.

Bac Van beach
Hong Van beach, located 8 km from the town, is considered the most beautiful beach in Co To. The water here is very blue and clear.

The pristine and romantic beauty of Hong Van beach

Van Chai beach is situated in the end of the island. This is the most beautiful place to see the sunset; however, tourists also remember to come back when the moon rises, the tide is low which exposes a flat sand stretching endlessly.

Co To Island’s Lighthouse is located on an altitude of more than one hundred meters above sea level. When visiting the lighthouse, tourists have to ask the post chief for his permission to climb up the lighthouse.

Co To Island’s Lighthouse

Little Co To, a small islands located about half an hour traveling by boat from Co To Island. To reach the island, visitors have to book the ship in advance. Boats to the island depart in the morning and return in the course of the day. This is an uninhabited island, there is also no fresh water on the island, so if planning to go for a picnic here, you have to prepare enough food, drink, and necessary items.


- The food on the island is not rich and various; therefore, if you take a trip in large groups, you should by foods to bring with you. Seafood can be purchased in Co To market.
- In the Evening, there are a lot of mosquitoes in the beaches, remember to bring mosquito net and mosquito repellent to avoid being bitten
- The weather is quite cold at night on the island, be sure to bring a warm jacket.
- If camping on the beach, you should choose a place where is sheltered from the wind and remember to bring a torch.

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Making Chung Cake at Tet Custom

In today's modern society, many traditions of Vietnam has disappeared, but there is a traditional values having still existed with the time- making Chung cake at Tet - New Year Holiday.

The custom of making banh Chung (chung cake- square glutinous rice cake) has existed in our country since the time of King Hung, and is one of the traditional values which endures with time, overcomes the historical volatility. Although Vietnam was over 1000 years under the Chinese domination and nearly 100 years under the Western colonialism, making Chung cake custom to offer ancestor has not faded.

According to “Chung cake Giay cake” legend, in King Hung VI (c. 1712 - 1632 BC) on occasion of Hung Kings’ anniversary, the King summoned the Lang- the hereditary mandarin (sons of the King) and said that the Lang who could find the sacrifice which met the King’s desire to offer the ancestor would be abdicated the throne. The Langs went to the forests, or into the sea to find rubies and precious products to make offerings and give to the king. Lang Lieu (also called Lang Leo in some documents) was the poorest person among the Langs, he could not find the valuable and rare yields to offer his father; therefore, he used the usual agricultural products including sticky rice, green beans , pork and Dong leaves to make two cakes named Chung cake and Giay cake which symbolized the heaven and the earth as offerings. Lang Lieu’ gifts met the desire of King Hung, and he was abdicated the throne and became the King. Since then, Chung cake and Giay cake have became indispensable yields in ancestor workshipping rituals and to express the gratitude of the descendants with the ancestor.

Chung cake is associated with the legend of Lang Lieu Prince

Chung cake symbolizes the earth with green color representing vegetation, green beans representing fruits, pork representing animals, and glutinous rice representing human beings. Dong leaves used to wrap Chung cakes have green color. The natural green color of Dong leaves makes Chung cakes become special and eye- catching. In some areas, people replace Dong leaves by banana leaves, dock leaves, or even Indian almond leaves.

It is also very interesting that Chung cakes are boiled it 10 hours. Many generations of Vietnamese people will never forget the memories of staying up all night, sitting by the fire to wait for the cooked cakes and grill the potatoes and sweet potatoes in the piercing cold nights before Tet.

Chung cake is an indispensable dish in the meals of every family at Tet as well as in the sacrifice offered the ancestor. In the days after the New Year, fried Chung cakes become a favorite food of many people, especially small children. Enjoying the toughness and crispy of fried Chung cakes fried is a nice feeling, and might be the "addictive" food many people. Many people eat fried Chung cakes each morning as a familiar dish, not just at Tet. Nowadays, it is not difficult for us to find a vendor selling fried Chung cakes in the early morning in the streets of Hanoi.

Fried Chung cake is a favorite dish of many people
Chung cake is a typical cake at Tet of the provinces in the North of Vietnam and North Central Coast . In the Southern provinces, the popular cake at Tet is bánh Tét, a circular cylindrical cakes, wrapped in banana leaves and made from ingredients including is sticky rice, pork and the fillings like mung beans, black beans or bananas. Taste of bánh Tét is not different from Banh Chung. Many researchers believe that due to the confrontation between Lord Trinh and Lord Nguyen in late Le Dynasty, the Lords Nguyen had people in "Dang Trong" make bánh Tét to create differences with Chung cakes of “Dang Ngoai”

The typical and traditional cakes at Tet of Vietnamese people

Along with the development of modern society, Chung cakes are also becoming more various in size and taste. At the cake stalls throughout the markets, from rural to urban areas, you can choose for yourselves types of Chung cakes, from small to big, with salty or sweet taste depending on each person's taste.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Nam Du Archipelago - the Raw Pearl of Phu Quoc

Situated in the southeast of Phu Quoc “Pearl Island", Nam Du Island owns a pristine and lyrical beauty like a "raw pearl” nestling in the blue sea.

Nam Du is like a raw pearl nestling in the sea

Nam Du is the most remote archipelago of Kien Hai District (Kien Giang), more than 80 sea km from Rach Gia, and is still wild. 21 big and small islands form a beautiful population in the sea. Nam Du archipelago is belonged to 2 island communes named An Son and Nam Du. The unspoiled and romantic scenery of the islands in the archipelago of Nam Du will bring you unforgettable experiences.

Located in the southeast of Phu Quoc "Pearl Island", Nam Du owns a pristine and lyrical beauty like a raw pearl nestling in the blue sea. Coming to Nam Du, the first thing that people think about is to immerse in sea water. They find the attraction of blue sea mingling with the sky color as prolonging endlessly irresistible. The most beautiful and famous beaches here is the beaches on the Hon Lon (Big Island) as Men beach, Dat Do beach with lines of bent coconut trees being silhouetted against the white sand and do crystal water that we can see the bottom.

The peaceful and beautiful scenery in Hon Lon

In Nam Du, Cu Tron island is the widest island with the total area of 9 square km, and the smallest island is Hon Lo (only 200 square m), people live mainly on Cu Tron, Hon Mau and Hon Bo Dao. Each name of the islands, beaches, slopes here has its own anecdotes. Standing on the peak of Hon Lon with more than 300m high, tourists can see the small islands like Hon Mau piercing through Do Nai, Do Nai turning to Bo Dap; Hon Lo, Hon Ngang, Hon Dung, Hon Dau, Bo Ao, Hon Ong, Hon Dam, Hon Tre, Hon Moc, Hon Nhan, Hon Han, Hon Nom, Hon Kho, Chet beach…

After swimming, playing and relaxing under the water, visitors can rent a motorbike riding along the road around the island, which will bring a wonderful feeling: one side is the steep cliffs, the other side is the sea and blue sky, far away is the small islands with the boats bobbing on the water.

Tasting Nam Du cuisine will surely be on of the things that are difficult to ignore when coming here. Fresh seafood caught so freshly that they still have taste of the sea, grilled fish, cuttlefish and rice gruel... will be unforgettable and irresistible dishes of this land .

In the infinite, peaceful space, you'll remember forever the moments when welcoming the dawn of a new day or a dreamy sunset gradually falling down the horizon in this paradise island.

The sky and the sea in Nam Du seems to mingle in each other

The best time to explore Nam Du Archipelago is from late December to May when the sea is calm, the water is deep blue and looks like a sapphire. From Ho Chi Minh City, tourists can travel by the high quality passenger car to Rach Gia bus station, then travel from there to the island by boat (about 2 hours). Tourists who are interested in package tour. Travel by motorbikes can leave their vehicles at the port of Rach Gia.

The movement or commuting between the islands is mostly by train. To save money, travelers should go in groups of 8 to 12 people. In addition to this, to explore the unspoiled islands, sleeping tents are the best choice, therefore, the more people go, the more money you can save.

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